WORK – the how and why; ACLU addresses Leavenworth Detention CTR

On September 13th, host Terri Wilke speaks with Lars Leininger of Workforce Partnership, a non-profit organization whose board of directors’ functions as the local workforce development board serving the Kansas side of the Kansas City metro.  They are committed to building a workforce development system that meets the needs of both job seekers and employers throughout the Kansas City area, and operate a network of career centers in Johnson, Leavenworth, and Wyandotte counties offering professional services and funding resources to employers and job seekers.

Workforce Partnership staff work with job seekers on job search assistance, resume writing, interview skills, and basic job readiness.  For those job seekers with significant barriers to employment – such as low income, downsized, disabled, justice-involved, Veterans, or low English proficiency – the career advisors provide more intensive services, including skill and career interest assessments, individualized employment plans, and access to training and education funding to prepare the job seekers for employment.

In his role at Workforce Partnership, Lars Leininger has worked within multiple industries to meet with local employers and discuss impactful, grant-funded, no-cost and low-cost services and programs available through Workforce Partnership.  As the region’s Registered Apprenticeship Coordinator, Lars has developed customized training plans, often with grant-funded training, to significantly aid Kansas employers with hiring, training, retention and performance.  He has also worked closely with the disabled and justice-involved communities to help employers optimize their recruiting practices with a focus on diversity and inclusion.  The Workforce Partnership team coordinates major job fairs, virtual job fairs and company hiring events in the Kansas City metro to support employers with their hiring needs.  Prior to joining Workforce Partnership, Lars spent 20 years as a Technical Recruiter and Industrial/Organizational Psychology Consultant.

There is a Fair Chance Job Fair upcoming on September 16th Tune in to learn of opportunity!

Next, host Margot Patterson speaks with Sharon Brett, Legal Director of the ACLU of Kansas.   The ACLU and federal public defenders are warning a private prison company may be trying to avoid President Biden’s executive order that bans new contracts with most for-profit detention facilities. They sent a 10-page letter to a White House office and local officials that details violent incidents and inmate rights violations that happened this year at the Leavenworth Detention Center.

The Leavenworth Detention Center is a privately run maximum-security federal prison located in Leavenworth, Kansas. The facility is owned and operated by CoreCivic, formerly named Corrections Corporation of America, under contract with the United States Marshals Service. It was originally constructed as a 460-bed private prison, and it was the first correctional facility under direct contract with a U.S. federal agency. In May 2008 the facility underwent its fourth expansion to increase capacity to over 1000 inmates. Detainees are held “temporarily” at Leavenworth Detention Center during their legal processing.  It is a pre-trial detention center.

The letter was signed by legal directors for American Civil Liberties Union affiliates in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska, and by the heads of federal public defender offices for districts whose pretrial detainees are incarcerated at the prison. The ACLU of Kansas also says it has received complaints that staff routinely lock people in showers with running water as a form of punishment. Some doors in the prison don’t lock and inmates routinely barricade themselves inside their cells at night for their own protection, according to the letter.

CoreCivic said in its statement that the locks have been fixed. The prison has been on lockdown since a detainee was fatally attacked by another inmate on Aug. 2.

Please listen and be open to our messages.   On Jaws of Justice, we investigate how to achieve justice in America.


“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”

Calendar for the week of Sept 13th:

  • For all persons aged five and older, regardless of vaccination status, KCMO has reinstated an indoor mask mandate in places of public accommodation. If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, you can find a vaccine.  See the FAQS at
  • Legal Aid of Western Missouri provides free civil legal services to low-income and vulnerable people in Jackson CTY Missouri. Interested individuals can call 816-474-6750 to apply.
  • Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is a very active group of Mothers and others. You can learn where their virtual meetings this week will occur at
  • MON, Sept. 13th, 6 PM, is a More² August Issues2Action Meeting, you can join, online via zoom. There will be breakout groups by issue task force for both Missouri and Kansas teams. Register to attend at More² on Facebook or
  • WED, Sept. 15th, noon, MADP invites you to a Clemency for #ErnestJohnson Rally – Mill Creek Park, Kansas City Missouri
  • THURS, Sept. 16th, 2:30 PM, Our Voices KCMO Proclamation Action, Our Voices leaders ask supporters to join them at KCMO City Council Chambers, 414 E 12th St., 26th floor, KCMO, in support of the Mayor & City Council planned adoption of a resolution in support of the voting rights of individuals with felony convictions. Contact the Our Voices organizer for more information [email protected].
  • THURS, Sept. 16th, 4 PM, Domestic Violence Support Group: Online event. Free and confidential. Connect with other survivors in the community Build skills for Positive Parenting and Healthy Relationships Discuss topics like gaslighting, power & control, boundary setting, and the cycle of abuse. Viz zoom. Email Martha for more details: [email protected]
  • THURS, Sept. 16th, Fair Chance Job Fair 10 AM – 2 PM, at Kansas City Kansas Community College Technical Education Center, 6565 State Ave, Kansas City, KS On the RideKC Metro Bus Route Attendees can participate in resume and interviewing workshops prior and during the fair. Hosted by Workforce Partnership this Job Fair will feature 30 area employers who are ready to hire and will consider justice involved job seekers. Walk In– Job Fair—Everyone Welcome!
  • FRI, Sept. 17th, noon is Empower MO’s Friday. Topic is breaking the cycle of poverty one neighbor at a time. You can join virtually as panelists from the Missouri Community Action Network present their 2021 poverty report & explore strategies & solutions to addressing poverty.  To register, go to
  • SAT, Sept. 18th, 3 – 7 PM, House Music /Park Party!!! Come thru……Marquette Park sponsored by Reale Justice Network, more info on Facebook.
  • A list of services, meals, and hot lines specific to sheltering are available at It is updated daily.

Stay safe. Thanks to all our listeners, stay close to your dial and stay well!


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